Neuhaus Partners and T-Venture invest in playnik.com
Hamburg-based venture capital company Neuhaus Partners today announced that it was investing in the start-up company wwg worldwidegames GmbH, Hamburg, in conjunction with the Connected Life and Work Fund managed by T-Venture. Playnik.com, the browser games community portal developed by wwg worldwidegames GmbH, offers both proprietary browser games and games developed by its partners in the fast-growing massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) market. The investment of the two venture capital funds is part of a round of Series A financing amounting to a euro sum in the mid-single-digit millions. The co-investors are Holtzbrinck Ventures and High-Tech Gründerfonds, which had already invested in the company.
Playnik.com has released a wide range of browser games. With the new-generation browser games Desert Blitz, Mission Cobra, and Castle Fight, playnik.com provides not only free, long-lasting MMOG gaming fun but also other innovative social gaming features. After a single sign-on, users get access to all games on playnik.com. The player’s statistics are also included in the different games and shown to the community. Particularly popular among video gamers is the possibility of comparing oneself against others in not just one game but across games.
Harald Eisenächer, a Board member from Deutsche Telekom’s Products & Innovation segment, comments: “In Germany, online games are among the offerings with the fastest-growing fan communities on the Internet. Thanks to its portfolio of outstanding games and interesting functions for gamers, playnik.com is extremely well positioned in this market.”
wwg worldwidegames GmbH has built up one of the first communities for online gamers at playnik.com. Here, over one million users are now not only in contact through games but also join forces to reach further levels and higher rankings. “Browser games are the future,” Matthias Grychta from Neuhaus Partners predicts. “The young company has huge potential to become a major international player.” In Europe and North America, USD 1.4 billion was spent on MMOG subscriptions in 2008, including premium subscriptions of games that can otherwise be played free of charge. This figure is expected to rise to USD 2 billion by 2013 (subscription of MMOGs: Life beyond World of Warcraft, Screen Digest, 2009).
“The quality of the company speaks for itself and we are looking forward to supporting its further growth together with the new investors,” agree Sven Achter from Holtzbrinck Ventures and Björn Momsen from High-Tech Gründerfonds.
Robert Johnsson, CEO of playnik.com, is eagerly awaiting the commencement of the partnership: “Playnik.com is already represented in Europe’s most important markets; we have been able to develop North and South America as well. With the help of our investors, we can really speed up internationalization and integrate more social gaming functions as well as new games on playnik.com.”
About wwg worldwidegames GmbH:
Playnik.com is the first next-generation browser game platform worldwide that combines the advantages of a specialized community and a gaming portal. Playnik.com is the first-ever platform to release innovative gaming features such as the cross-game Nik score, an extensive award system, and other leading-edge social gaming features. At present, playnik.com operates twelve games. Its top titles are Mission Cobra (the first mission-based agent game), Kiez King (the most popular game on Germany’s most sinful mile), and Desert Blitz (the current military strategy game).
wwg worldwidegames GmbH
Tel.: 49 (0)7000-7529645
Fax: +49 (0)1805 88 000 422 52
About Neuhaus Partners:
Neuhaus Partners GmbH is based in Hamburg and is one of the leading venture capital companies in Europe, investing primarily in information technology companies. Since its founding in 1998, the company has completed 48 investments and in 44 of those Neuhaus Partners participated as lead investor. Track Record: Two IPO’s, sixteen trade sales, three buy backs and ten insolvencies. Neuhaus Partners is currently investing in its third fund generation. For more information about Neuhaus Partners please visit www.NeuhausPartners.com
Neuhaus Partners GmbH
Tel.: +49 (40) 355 282 – 0
Fax: +49 (40) 355 282 – 39
About the Connected Life and Work Fund:
The Connected Life and Work Fund is managed by T-Venture, Deutsche Telekom’s venture capital company. Its aim is to support Deutsche Telekom’s Products & Innovation segment in implementing its objectives. The focus of investment is on the Internet and the media. Further information is available at: www.t-venture.de
T-Venture Holding GmbH
Tel.: +49 228 30848-0
About High-Tech Gründerfonds:
The High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, up-and-coming technology companies, which implement promising research results in the industry. The start-up companies are planned to lead their R&D projects to the production of a prototype or a “proof of concepts” or market launch by means of the seed financing of up to 500k EUR. The High-Tech Gründerfonds has a fund volume of around 272m EUR. Investors of the public-private partnership are the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the KfW bank group as well as the six industrial groups BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss.
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Björn Momsen
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 253175 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 / 965685-00
Fax: +49 228 / 965685-50